According to trainer Greg Jackson, B.J. Penn is looking to make his official comeback to the UFC later this year. Despite being 37 years old, he believes the fighter still has a few years left in him to continue taking on matches inside the Octagon.
Penn is renowned as the second UFC fighter to successfully hold on to two championship titles from different weight classes, particularly in the lightweight and welterweight divisions. In his entire fight career, he has competed in various divisions from featherweight to heavyweight.
The last time he appeared on a pay-per-view event was in July 2014 when he took on Frankie Edgar in the Ultimate Fighter Finale. Unfortunately, he lost to Edgar via TKO. As this was his third consecutive loss since 2010's UFC 123, Penn then announced his retirement.
He was scheduled to return earlier this year to compete against Dennis Siver at UFC 196 but in February, the MMA promotion company decided to cancel his fight booking following allegations of sexual assault made against him.
According to Bloody Elbow, a former writer for BJPenn.com accused the latter of sexually harassing his girlfriend. Aside from this, the former writer also said that Penn has a serious history of drug abuse.
Although these were only allegations, the UFC still decided to remove Penn from the fight card and even planned to hire a third party organization to investigate the matter.
Despite the issues, it seems Penn remains focused on training and getting back inside the Octagon. As noted by Jackson, the MMA fighter's physical condition is getting better.
"He's really starting to look good," he told MMA Junkie. "It's starting to click with him. Good sparring. More of the same. Just pushing forward. We're trying to work on his technique, so every day, we can get a little bit better."
"His numbers are looking good, and I think he's got a few good years left in him," Jackson added.
The UFC, on the other hand, has not yet issued a statement regarding Penn's possible return. It is also not yet clear if the allegations against him have been resolved because if not, then these could still prevent him from fighting professionally for the company.